More than 1,000 dental professionals visited our nation’s capital in April to advocate for the profession. The dental voice was loud and clear as attendees supported principles to alleviate the student debt burden, promoted the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act and championed the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Here are some highlights of the 2019 ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day, as well as action items on what you can do next.
At the start of the event, dental students found a few moments for fun and to network with dentists from across the country. The welcome reception provided the perfect venue for dental students to meet and mingle with dentists from across the country.
Before going to the Hill, attendees participated in several sessions to prepare for successful congressional appointments. Anisha Pandya, ASDA’s 2018-19 Council on Advocacy legislative coordinator for districts 1-3 and current speaker of the house, joined the ADA’s Washington D.C., lobbyists for the issue review panel, which provided an in-depth analysis of the issues attendees discussed during their Hill meetings.
In addition, attendees watched a mock “how to meet with your member of Congress” presentation. This helped dental students and dentists know what to expect when visiting with congresspeople or staff. Attendees had time after the session to ask questions from the lobbying experts.
A high point of Monday’s programming was the “State Strategy Sessions.” Dentists and dental students were grouped by their state delegations to plan their meetings with congresspeople on Tuesday. This is when attendees finalized their talking points and tactics for lobbying dental issues.
Dental students and dentists attended more than 300 congressional appointments on Tuesday, April 16.
Lobby day might be over, but ASDA’s efforts to champion dental student issues continue. Send letters to your congresspeople to keep the momentum from the event alive. ASDA’s action alert system, Engage, has prefilled emails that you can quickly modify and send to your legislators:
- The Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act aims to stop interest accrual on dental student loans if borrowers choose to defer while in residency programs.
- The Student Loan Refinancing Act would allow recent graduates to refinance their federal student loans more than once to take advantage of lower interest rates.
- The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act is bipartisan legislation that could lead to long-term savings for patients and dentists.
Learn more about the issues that impact dental students and the future of the profession, as well as how you can get involved.